Anime Expo 2011: Day 0

Greetings from Day 0 at Anime Expo! This post is coming straight from complimentary access at the J.W. Marriott in Los Angleles, on the eve of Day 1 of the convention. What better way to kick off this five-day adventure than to show off some Hatsune Miku/2011 Toyota Corolla itasha?

This is my first time staying at any hotel in the L.A. area, and I must say that I’m impressed. Lots of room for amenities, the ability to listen to anime/jpop/jrock music on the iHome next to the beds, play anime on the big screen, and plenty of cupboards for your own food and drinks. I suppose when you’re going to AX of all events and have a very nicely maintained and decorated hotel within 5 minutes walking distance of the convention, you have to live it up completely at some point, right?

The main reason for attending Day 0 was to obtain badges and event tickets before the start of the convention itself. Of course, this didn’t sway the many convention-goers from avoiding today because the lines were packed! Nearly six hours of shuffling through duct taped line guides and standing like a mannequin, and we’re finally inside and looping our necks through the official lanyards. A bit disappointed in the lower quality badge printouts this year; I keep joking that it probably has to do with the convention spending too much on making sure Mikunopolis runs smoothly. At least I’m thankful to have not had to stand in the hot sun in the overflow section of the pre-registration badge pickup line.

There was also some good cosplay to go around for being the first day and all. I didn’t have too many opportunities to wander too much to find some cosplayers, so I’m hoping that what little shots I got on Day 0 will have been good practice for the rest of the days.

With boredom also came about these wonderful sticky notes that we plastered all over our trail in line. Nice boats, tsun-tsun remarks, and teasing red duct tape kept our view of the concrete ground refreshing and someone humorous.

Beyond the lines and the crowds, our hotel room wound up being a nice retreat back to normalcy and a certain calm before the storm. I also had a chance to walk the city streets at night with our friend Anthony to grab some groceries for the rest of our roommates for some wholesome sandwiches, breakfast goods, and refreshments. Fulfilling and cost effective. And seeing the city streets so empty was a nice touch before the traffic chaos begins at sunrise.

From here on out, the events will get even more packed. Red Carpet/Opening Ceremonies, followed by panels including Miyuki Sawashiro, Aniplex, cosplay photography, Kalafina, and the much-anticipated AMV contest, just to name a few, are only some of the activities I’m keeping my eyes peeled for.

As much as possible, I’m going to attempt to keep up with posting photos and talking a little bit about some of the highlights of each day until I’m able to sit down and write a comprehensive review. It’s going to be interesting to see how long I can keep up.

Photos will be posted first on my flickr first, followed by a quick post and recap of the day here on my WordPress. Stay tuned for Day 1! I’m sure it’s going to be a riot.

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